Ohio announces its first legal pot farmers

COLUMBUS, OH - Ohio has announced the first round of recipients to receive a license from the state to grow medical marijuana. 

More than 100 companies applied for just 24 licenses to cultivate medical marijuana in Ohio. Friday morning's announcement included the names of 11 companies that have received a provisional level II cultivation license - which the state created for smaller marijuana farms that will have 3,000 square feet of growing space or less. 

At least one more license for a small cultivator could still be announced, state officials said. Later this month the state is expected to announce the recipients of level 1 cultivation licenses, which are for growing operations up to 25,000 square feet. 

RELATED:  Meet some of the people who might become Ohio’s first legal marijuana farmers.

The recipients announced Friday include Cincinnati-based Hemma LLC, which is represented Elizabeth Van Dulman the founder of the personal stylist start-up Modster.  According to Van Dulman's application to the state, she's planning to launch her growing operation in Monroe in Butler County.

The full lists of license recipients can be found at Ohio's Medical Marijuana Program website.

Two of the licenses awarded went to businesses that submitted multiple applications for operations in different parts of the state: Fire Rock, Ltd. of Canton, OH and Ohio Clean Leaf, LLC of Columbus.  Each firm will have 10 days to finalize the location of their operation.

RELATED: Rhinegeist owners want in on medical pot

In September 2016, Ohio joined the more than two dozen states that have legal marijuana laws on their books. Since then, state regulators have been crafting the rules for how the drug can be grown, processed and sold to eligible patients.  The program, by law, is under a September 2018 deadline to be fully functioning. 

Ohio's Department of Commerce is overseeing the scoring of cultivation applications, which were filed with the state in June. 

Applicants' scores are based on four key components of their operation: Their business plan, quality control plans, security plans and financial plans, said Stephanie Gostomski, a spokeswoman for the Department of Commerce.

The recipients now have nine months to get their businesses fully operational, which will require a final round of inspections and reviews by the Department of Commerce, said Gostomski.



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